Baku. 25 December. REPORT.AZ/ Palestinian security forces have been put on an unprecedented high alert for Christmas this year, fearing the Islamic State mounts a terror attack targeting Christian tourists or locations in Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, Report informs referring to YnetNews.
Over the past year, ISIS and its supporters have mounted countless terror attacks outside the Islamic State's areas of control in Iraq and Syria, leading the Palestinian Authority to worry radical cells in the West Bank, who are affiliated with the ISIS, would target a Christian location like Bethlehem on Christmas.
Palestinian officials told that the PA's security forces have arrested 16 radical militants from the Bethlehem area over the past few days, in an effort to thwart any possible plans of terror attacks over the Christian holidays celebrated in the city - starting with Christmas Eve on Thursday, as well as New Year's Eve on December 31 and the different churches' new year's celebrations that are expected to last until the end of January.
The PA suspects the Islamic State is planning on targeting the masses of tourists arriving in the city for the holidays, Christian residents of the city, or the churches in Bethlehem, by planting explosive devices.
In addition, the Palestinian Authority itself and its institutes could also be a target for attacks as the ISIS supporters operating in the area are part of a radical and unpredictable group.